“Our hope for you is firm”.
2 Cor 1:7 NIV
O ne of the greatest human activities is to hope. We hope we will one day pay off our mortgage bond. We hope that our daughter will marry a strong, capable and reliable husband. We hope our children will go to university and do well. We spend our eighty-odd years hoping.
Paul’s way of hoping for the Christian believers at Corinth was rather like a school teacher. He teaches his subject hoping that some students will “get it”, make a big thing of it and forge a career for themselves which will be a springboard for their success. Paul went to Corinth preaching the gospel, hoping that some would respond in faith and become stalwarts in the church. He dreamt of them becoming strong in Christ, mature in their faith, and hoped they would themselves become pastors and teachers – at least some of them. He also taught them to hope – for the second coming of Christ, one of God’s future mighty acts. And he taught them to hope that God would come again in glory. In this respect the apostles’ hope for the new converts was firm. Always the apostle was looking ahead, dreaming, hoping, planning for the growth of the church and the personal spiritual growth of the believers who fell under his pastoral care.
Always hope. Hope is one of the most therapeutic attitudes human beings can hold. It is the beginning of great projects, the seed from which powerful careers can spring, the dreams from which the world can be changed. Empires have been born in hope. Multi-national companies have grown from seemingly small beginnings, because someone hoped. Hope in God and his power. And let the Holy Spirit fulfil your greatest hopes.
Lord, help me always to look forward in hope.